Chieftain By Command by Frances Housden (Chieftain Series #2)

Chieftain by Command by Frances HousdenAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Escape Publishing

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Gavyn Farquhar’s marriage is forged with a double-edged blade. Along with the Comlyn clan’s lands, a reward from the King, he is blessed with an unwilling bride, Kathryn Comlyn, and an ancient fort with few defenses that desperately needs to be fortified before it can act as a sufficient buffer between Scotland and the Norsemen on its northern borders.

Gavyn needs wealth to meet his king’s demands and he knows of only one way to get it — with his sword. Leaving his prickly bride behind in the hands of trusted advisors, he makes his way to the battlegrounds of France and the money that can be made there. Two years married and Kathryn is still a virgin. A resentful virgin, certain that, like her father before her, she is perfectly capable of leading the Comlyn clan. In her usurper husband’s absence, she meets the clan’s needs, advising and ruling as well as any man. But she is an intelligent woman, and she knows the only respect and power she will ever hold will be through her husband. And to wield it, she needs to make him love her. An easy task to set, but impossible to complete, when said husband has been gone for two years, and there is no word of his return. But Kathryn is undeterred. After all, a faint heart never won a Chieftain.

I love stories set in the highlands, the mystic and lore lure me in with intriguing characters and amazing settings. This book did not disappoint, I was pulled from the beginning to experience the people of this mythical time and place and the author tells a wonderful tale of heart and romance.

Gavyn Farquhar has married Kathryn Comlyn at the request of the king. She is unhappy as the pawn in this drama, knowing she has been manipulated by her father Erik the Bear, her new husband and even the King, Malcolm Canmore. She makes her feelings known that first night as her husband, in name only, leaves her for several years.

Their meeting two years later is awkward considering she shoots an arrow toward him as he arrives, but they work through their problems, slowly getting to know each other as well as enjoying the benefits of their marriage that is now legal. The two try to bring the mercenaries that Gavyn brought with him and the suspicious Comlyn clansmen together to form a cohesive clan but there is trouble brewing and Kathryn’s two vindictive cousins, Brodwyn and Harold seem to be causing danger and heartache.

I enjoyed this story immensely, the plot had me intrigued, wondering about this overconfident man who would leave his bride and the woman who so proudly stayed behind and how they would fight for their HEA.

Kathryn is a strong independent woman who was born in the wrong century; she longed to be treated equally, able to rule in her husband’s absence, unfortunately the times and the circumstances do not change how people looked at her. When Gavyn comes back into the picture she shoots an arrow at him, almost chastising him for being gone so long and not sending a runner to the Keep to let them know, she is angry at his arrogance. Even with this stubborn streak within her she finds that there is an attraction and when they finally consummate the marriage, she realizes there is something intriguing about this man.

Gavyn is your perfect hero, brave and oh so Alpha as he leaves to fight and comes back triumphant after two years. I like him as a person; he wants his new home to be a place of peace and a haven for the clan yet he realizes he needs to prove himself. It is unfortunate that there are others that try to sabotage his efforts and bring distrust between the people. I also like how Gavyn goes to great lengths to want a true marriage and is willing to work at it, yet he is not sure if he wants to reveal so much of himself to Kathryn, so holds himself back until it is almost too late.

The two together make a wonderful couple, at first there is mistrust but I like how they work together for their clan and when he asks her to go on a tour of the area just because he wants to get to know her, he is so sweet. Their passion feels real and the scenes they share sizzle; there is definite chemistry between them.

The secondary characters play large parts in this story, there is Lhiliha, her maid who is a great friend and confidant, the evilness that is Brodwyn and Harold who bring danger to the story, and of course the three young men who are best friends and are like brothers to Kathryn, Jamie, Rob and Nhaimeth, they are a kick and add much to the story. I was a little disappointed that the author is vague about what happens to these three, she talks about how they will travel back to their homes before winter sets in but I was a bit confused about how the friendship ends between Rob and Jamie, there is such heartache and I would like to have seen some resolution, maybe that is for some future book, which would be fantastic.

The plot progression works well, the beginning is slow, we meet the couple on their cursed wedding day, only to spring forward two years to a reunited clan working out the troubles. The pace picks up when there is trouble and murder causes suspicion and deceit. This is the second book in the series and can easily be read as a standalone and it is a wonderful story for those that enjoy the ancient highlands and the romance that it brings.

I give Chieftain by Command by Frances Housden 4 stars!

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